You know what the difference between a cool job and an awesome job?
When you have a bunch of coworkers that relies on wit to prank each other. Better yet, when you can prank your boss, and he appreciates it.
Jared, the other Mechanical Engineer at my day job, also has a side business, building parts to soup up Evos. (Peeps, go over to his website, Binary Engineering, and give him some web love). Recently, to advertise his car, and his mad engineering skillz, Jared got a vinyl plotter.
Used to be that if you wanted a vinyl plotter, you were stuck with a Roland or Summa. These are the 800 lb gorillas in the vinyl plotter world – expensive, well crafted machines.
But if you think about it, a vinyl plotter is just an X-Y plotter with the ability to lift and lower a swiveling tungsten carbide blade. And the stepper motors and drivers required to drive such a system had come down drastically in price lately.
Enter the joys of Chinese manufacturing, stage left. Now, for < $400, one can buy a 24" wide vinyl plotter. The software's not as refined, and the cutter is a loud, cheap, affair - but it gets the job done.
And of course, what do creative engineers do given a new toy? They find a way to prank someone.
Here's a caricature of myself I found at my desk when I came in Monday morning: